#Featured Articles

Monday Morning Commute: Locked Out Of Your Own Temple

mmc locked out of your own temple

Man, let me in! Let me in to my own fucking temple, man! How dare I be locked out of my sanctum, my home, my astral resting place. I’m talking about my own goddamn mind, man. One of the things I’m constantly realizing these days is that in many ways I’m locked out of my own goddamn mind, and I would argue I’m not alone. I think some of the more interesting shit happening in our minds emotionally is obfuscated by the emotional plaque that builds up, the defense mechanisms we subconsciously construct, and the narratives we tell ourselves.

Behind the scenes!

In my own goddamn temple!

I mean.

I have a good idea about some of the inner-workings, you know? I’m a goddamn man child. I care about people, the planet, and helping others. I’m bad to respond quickly to texts, I’m prone to emotional outbursts (negative and positive), and I’m deeply, deeply addicted to asses, my wife’s ass, and the pursuit of ass. The never-ending quest for ass.

I mean.

However at the same time, Jesus Christ, what’s going on in here? My mind! However at the same time, Jesus Christ, what’s going on in all our minds?! I’ve begun to realize that in many ways I’m a stranger until myself! Said revelation has come to me because at least once a week my therapist asks me a question that stops me in my tracks.

“Oh yeah, I like myself.”

Do you like yourself?”

I mean.

Well said! Now that you’ve asked, I’m not really sure.

“I mean, I think so.”

Would you question yourself, if you did?”

I mean!

Well said! Now that you’ve asked me, I’m not really sure.

All you can really do is be mindful of your own goddamn Temple, you know? Realize you ain’t seeing everything that’s going on in that son of a bitch. Humble yourself to the notion that there may be doors you can’t open yourself. Doors you can’t see yourself. All you can really do is be mindful of the fact that sometimes others can see into those existential doors, windows, gutters, and gulches of yours better than you can. If they’re kind, let them help you.

Locked out of your own temple! Goddamn. Life is a fucking trip, man.

This is Monday Morning Commute.

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Views From The Space-Ship: Surpriseskies

views - surprise

Most of my time these days is dedicated to grocery shopping, bringing my wife various coffees, and mountain biking. It’s a quiet life. A peaceful life. While I’m ready to get back into the classroom, goddamn do I ever appreciate this summer siesta.

Glimpse upon these Views From The Space-Ship and weep, mortals.

See you sluts in the comments section. Or not.

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Monday Morning Commute: Of Bros and Brands

mmc of bros and brands

At this point (Ian write the fucking column!), it’s old news that Desus & Mero have broken-up. Sundered not just their business ventures, but also their friendship. Both said sunderings caught people by surprise, but I think it’s the latter that struck us in the asshole with the jagged-edges of a bolt from Mount Olympus. I think the announcement shocked us most not because D&M’s creative endeavors were done, but rather what their parting writ large on all our naïve foreheads. Permanent marker. Poorly scrawled.

Things get tricky when involving bros and brands.

Somewhat apropos, the news dropped the same week as Jordan Peele’s new (dope) horror movie, Nope. Peele was a member of another verdant comedy two-piece, that of Key & Peele. But while Desus & Mero’s falling out involved shitty subtweets, rumors, beefs, All-Caps Fuckdowns (that’s when you fucking smack someone down, it’s a corny word I just made up, but I’m a corny white dude), and general messiness, the splitting up of Key and Peele felt more like a conscious uncoupling.

Still.

Things get tricky when involving bros and brands.

I found it hard not to think about these two famous pairs going their own ways and not reflect upon my own bullshit here on the Space-Ship Omega. All the friends I’ve worked with, and subsequently watched drift away, find their own pursuits, and empty out their compartments aboard OL. I mean, that’s what we all do, right? Suffer from Main Character Syndrome these days. Some Main Characters are intelligent, some are quirky. This Main Character plays thousands of hours of Dead Cells, consumes enough caffeine to kill a Goliath, and eats shit on the regular mountain biking.

OL has gone from the Brothers Omega, to the Gathering of the Juggalos-levels of madness, to me sitting upon upon the MindPerch controlling the Destinatron of the Space-Ship. But that’s life.

You know?

Things get tricky when involving bros and brands.

But I think it’s only problematic when the growth ain’t embraced. It’s one thing to evolve and grow apart. In a lot of ways, duos, gangs, and gaggles of fuckfaces should encourage one another to grow. Most of the time that’s healthy as fuck, even if it means splitting up the Gang.

(Except in the case of RATM devolving into Audioslave, that shit is both gross and unacceptable.)

For one’s self to not grow is worse. To not encourage those you care about to develop because you’re satisfied with who they are now is selfish. To cling to a status quo or an ossified endeavor (how many seasons of Key & Peele did we really need?) instead of chasing that next piece of your development ain’t the right move.

The emotional catastrophe strikes when these changes breed resentment. We ain’t crying cause Key & Peele broke up, though we may be sad that the show ended. We ain’t crying because Desus and Mero are no longer are sitting across from one another. We’re crying because we bought into their friendship and we have seen that torn apart. It ain’t their show ending that’s a bummer, it’s what it represents.

A relationship caved in under the pressure of success, a lack of respect for one another’s evolution, and the sundry things that emerge when friendships meet bottom lines. When friendships meet workloads. When friendships meet deadlines. And (I’ve never had this problem) when friendships meet profit margins, contract talks, and cold hard cash.

Things get tricky when involving bros and brands.

That said, at the end of the day I’d rather be the lone steward here of the Space-Ship than have those I care about unwillingly chained to the uranium-pits in the reactor room feeding the Engine, because that was the way things where when we were thriving. In my personal life, I want to see my friends evolve, grow, and find peace. However, it is a lot easier to wish for that when it doesn’t materially impact a shared creation.

Such a realization is born out of my own growth, though. An acknowledgement that despite being the Main Character in the Hellscape that is modernity, I’m actually not the Main Character. I’m just another actor in the throat of a large actor-network and to encourage is to promote, and to cling is to cleave.

I genuinely don’t know what the fuck I’m going on about. Friendships, failed relationships, and the Space-Ship Omega.

This is Monday Morning Commute.

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Views From The Space-Ship: Milk Was A Bad Choice

Goddamn, is it ever fucking hot out. I mean, look at a map of the United States (and the UK, and Europe, et cetera) and you’re just seeing nuts-meltingly high temperatures. Not good, Rob. Not great, Bob! Fucking Hell. It’s a race between Catastrophe and Mild Catastrophe when it comes to this planet, and goddamn do I hope the latter wins. Cross your fingers, legs, and genitals.

Here are some Views From The Space-Ship for Your Eyes.

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Monday Morning Commute: What It Portends

Lucy’s been sleeping a lot more in her dirt holes this summer. Outside, conked out, oblivious to the dirt she’s covered in. Oblivious to the inexorable march of time that has her sleeping more. Oblivious to a lot of things.

It’s adorable, her sleeping in the dirt holes. I don’t have a problem with her doing so, even if she tracks dirt, dust, and the random errant branch into the house.

It’s what it portends.

I’ve been staring a lot more in the mirror lately trying to understand the face looking back. My nose is sharper. My eyes a bit more wearied. Not the face that I picture when I close my eyes. I told my wife that I was concerned I was aging. Bad news, she said. We’re all aging. I clarified that I was concerned I was aging poorly. No, she said. She told me she enjoyed the chin of my beard going gray. I suppose I don’t mind it the grays themselves.

It’s what it portends.

Last week the head of my department called me up. Asked me if I’d be willing to teach a different course, for my fourth course of the semester. You see, the sections of my usual course weren’t filling up. It’s all a numbers game. Hell yeah, I told him. I’d be happy to. In fact, the course he proposed was something I was interested in teaching in the Fall. It isn’t really the switch of the course that concerns me.

It’s what it portends.

Last week, I had to go to my therapy session equipped with the answer to her question from the prior one. She wanted to know what life would be like if I woke up one day “completely healed” of my mental maladies. She called it the magical serum question. I spent a good amount of the week leading up to the session thinking about her homework assignment.

The truth is, I don’t think I really had a good answer. But I told her I want to be able to live in the moment more. To be present. It’s not a particularly stunning revelation, not a particularly eye-opening wish, especially for someone with anxiety. But as the week passed, and I found myself saddened at my dog’s life winding down, or at my own face in the mirror, or at my potential course load down the line, I realized I was tired. Tired of always asking myself.

What does it portend?

This is Monday Morning Commute.

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Views From The Space-Ship: Let It Overtake Us

We’ve had a good fucking run, man. Or, I don’t know. Have we? The Grown-Up Apes have found combustion and promptly decimated this shit in like, two-hundred years? As Carlin says though, “the planet’s fine, we’re fucked.” I paraphrased that. But, yeah. Hopefully it’ll fucking outlive us. Anyways, I’m here. Want to see what my life is like pushing 40 years-old? You’re in the right place.

This is Views From The Space-Ship!

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Monday Morning Commute: a more quiet summer

Living through a more quiet summer than usual. When given the opportunity to interview for a summer position I had held for ten years, I decided that my interview would consist of a polite “no thank you” and an existential middle finger or two. That’s life, baby. Which has led me to a sort of ponderous, mostly relaxing summer as a Full Time Minder for my wife, a role I attack with aplomb and competence.

At the same time, the summer has also been laced with strife and difficulty. My wife’s family on her Mom’s side seems to suffer one loss after another. I’m not saying their family farm was built on cursed colonized land (I mean, it was colonized, all of this is) but the two of us joke about that it was. To bare my soul is to admit that I’m at the perpetual intersection of trying to figure out how to console my wife, and also throwing a pity-party for myself. She grieves on a consistent level that can only be the byproduct of an indifferent Universe. However, at a certain point my selfish ass just wants quality time with my her. How does one reconcile the desire to stamp their feet petulantly with an equally meaningful desire to be a good spouse?

I’ll hang up and take the answer off the air.

Seriously though, I don’t know! But, I’ve finally got hooked up with a therapist and I’m eager to till my fucking emotional land.

But here I am.

I haven’t written much lately, as evidenced by the fucking four month silence here. I miss writing, expressing myself, and connecting with others. I’m held back by this ingrained idea in my head that frankly I don’t have much to say and even if I did no one really gives a fuck and even more dangerous is that I don’t blame them. Look at that fucking trifecta.

But here I am.

A more quiet summer, a more pensive CaffPow. Such is the state of things. Nonetheless, such a situation does not foreswear me from enjoying the various arts and farts. This is what I’m enjoying lately.

This is Monday Morning Commute.

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Monday Morning Commute: Going Home Isn’t Always Bad

Well, the lights are back on. The air purifiers churning out recycled farts. The humming of the nexus-engines providing a soothing-if-not-ominous brown noise. The Space-Ship Omega has been roused from its slumber. ‘Cause sometimes going home isn’t always bad. After creating a Discord last year for OL acolytes (it’s not a cult, but it’s also not not a cult), the question became rather daunting: what purpose did a blog serve? It was a question which hounded me from tip to taint, and I suppose eventually I fell upon the misbegotten answer. I decided that the blog served no purpose.

I was incorrect, friends. You see, it’s a smaller, more intimate gathering for those not up for the perpetual word-vomiting of fellow Space-Ship inhabitants. But, as well? It’s a fantastic archive of my travels through space-time. The blog proves to be snapshot of my existence at various points in my linear meat-space existence. If this blog ain’t for anyone else, it’s for me. But I hope it’ll also be for you.

You see, going home isn’t always bad. Sometimes, it’s exactly what you need. A reprieve, an enclave, an oasis.

This is Monday Morning Commute. Grab a pop, pop off your pants, and let’s shoot the shit about what we’re looking forward to this week. And if it’s only me? Babbling to me? Into infinity? I’m fine with it.

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Monday Morning Commute: it was all a blur (and then it was nothing)

Goodness, gracious, I haven’t penned an MMC since fucking June?

This summer: it was all a blur (and then it was nothing).

Goodness, gracious, I haven’t penned anything in here since September?

This past month: it was all a blur (and then it was nothing).

Goodness, gracious, I haven’t taken a breath since the pandemic ended?

This pandemic: it was all a blur (and then it was nothing).

Over the weekend I had a dream that I was on campus, dying of COVID. In case you’re wondering how I’m doing. Over the past few weeks I swear the right side of my beard has gone entirely gray. In case you’re wondering how I’m doing. I feel like a husk, hollowed out, but excited to be back on campus. It’s a weird time, a ghost town, a mournful tribune to what we’ve lost, while appreciating we’re back on campus.

It’s a weird time.

Furthermore, I don’t really know the state of OL anymore. No one really reads blogs anymore, Discord has siphoned all of our conversation, and any meaningful connections with communities across the internet have seemingly moved to Substack.

So why the fuck am I here? Honestly? I’m not sure. If nothing else, I figure writing MMC every week could serve as an enjoyable fossil record for my interests at any given point in time. You can cut the rings in my soul, and chronicle what was on my mind. As well, I miss writing and this place is my only outlet.

This is Monday Morning Commute.

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Monday Morning Commute: It’s Okay To Be Excited

mmc its okay

It’s okay to be excited, my friends! I know we live in a callous world, with Billionaires Bouncing Around The Atmosphere while people starve, as the world burns. I know we live in a callous world, with Talking Heads Politicizing A Lifesaving Vaccine. But the majority of us sentient sacks of star dust are just trying to get by. Make a little love, eat a little food, share in some authentic and fulfilling moments.

It’s easy to get bogged down in the muck, the miasma, and the misery. Lord knows, we all eat enough nut shots on a micro and macro level on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis But fuck! Push back! Fight back! Salvage the simplistic moments and appreciate the good.

It’s easier said than done, sure. I’m guilty as fuck of succumbing to the Daunting Nature of It All. One of my superpowers is really just fretting about the past, the present, and the ever arriving future. At the same time though, I try to appreciate the small glimpses into peace and tranquility.

Some weeks it’s fucking hard!

Not this week though, nope! Motherfuckers this week I’m finally done with remote learning. Finally, finally, finally. After seventeen months and four-and-a-half semesters. What a miserable, enlightening, challenging, occasionally rewarding, and emotionally eviscerating experience. I’m not sure I got much from it, I’m not sure I could do it again, but after this week I won’t be asked to for the time being.

Let’s hang the fuck out, friends. Hang the fuck out, and dare I say, be excited about shit! This is Monday Morning Commute!

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